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Lauren Jackson at centre of 'horrible' scenes in tribute game in WNBL

The Aussie basketball legend suffered a devastating injury just 60 seconds into what could be her final game.

Lauren Jackson, pictured here after she was injured his 60 seconds into her tribute game in the WNBL.
Lauren Jackson was injured his 60 seconds into her tribute game in the WNBL. Image: Getty

What was supposed to be a wonderful night to honour the career of Aussie basketball legend Lauren Jackson turned into disaster after she hobbled off the court with injury after just 60 seconds. Playing in front of a record crowd at John Cain Arena in Melbourne on Saturday night, Jackson picked up what appeared to be an Achilles injury just over one minute into her tribute game.

Jackson is set to undergo scans to determine the full extent of the injury, but it looks as though the 41-year-old's career has come to end in brutal fashion. Jackson was in tears as she left the court, before returning to the bench with the help of crutches.

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Speaking after the game, the Opals legend said the injury wasn't related to the broken foot she suffered in December. Jackson was moved by the incredible scenes as 7681 fans packed into John Cain Arena - the largest crowd for a WNBL game ever.

Lauren Jackson, pictured here being honoured at John Cain Arena after the Southside Flyers' clash with the Sydney Flames.
Lauren Jackson was honoured at John Cain Arena after the Southside Flyers' clash with the Sydney Flames. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The record crowd beat the 7500 who attended the 1995 grand final between the Adelaide Lightning and Melbourne Tigers. "This was absolutely incredible. To be a part of it was just magic, but it was a shame I couldn't play more than 10 seconds," Jackson said on court after the match.

"I'll see what I've done...but the good news is that it's not my broken foot, it's the other (leg). I think it's my Achilles."

The former WNBA star said she felt something 'pop' in her leg. "I said to the referee, 'I don't think I can walk'," she said.

"I don't know whatever it is. I will go get scans and hopefully, this is just a stinger or something but I don't know. I think we have the best team in the league, there's no doubt about it, and I've just got to regroup and get back out there."

Basketball world left gutted for Lauren Jackson

Jackson made a sensational return from an injury-forced retirement last year to help the Opals win bronze at the FIBA Women's World Cup in Sydney. She was since helped the Southside Flyers reach third on the WNBL ladder with four games remaining, despite their one-point loss to the Sydney Flames on Saturday night.

“I don’t feel great, but it is what it is,” Jackson said later on Saturday. “I was on borrowed time anyway. It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? Anyway.”

Jackson broke her foot in December but played through the pain thinking it was just arthritis. “It‘s one of those things where I’m just going to see the season out, do what I can and then I’ll deal with it after,” she said at the time.

“At least knowing that it is broken now, I know that it will heal eventually. If I had’ve found out it was broken straight away I might not have played on it. At least I know I can play on it now, and I’m getting all the support I can get.”

Basketball fans and commentators were left shattered for Jackson on Saturday night after the injury.

with AAP

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